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Copper extraction from copper ore by electro-reduction in molten CaCl2-NaCl
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Process Science.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Process Science.
2009 (English)In: Electrochimica Acta, ISSN 0013-4686, E-ISSN 1873-3859, Vol. 54, no 18, 4397-4402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sintered solid porous pellets of copper sulfide (Cu2S) and Cu2S/FeS were electrolysed at a cell voltage of 2.2-2.8 V to elemental Cu, S and Cu, Fe, S, respectively in molten CaCl2-NaCl at 800 degrees C under the protection of argon gas. The process parameters for optimal electrolysis are presented. The electrolysis products are characterized by microscopic techniques and XRD. The product characteristics are linked to the process parameters. The direct electrolysis of the sulfide to copper with the emission of elemental sulphur offers an attractive green process route for the treatment of copper ore.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 54, no 18, 4397-4402 p.
Keyword [en]
Copper extraction, Electro-reduction, Molten salts, Green process, SO2 emission
National Category
Materials Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-14118DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2009.03.015ISI: 000266826200019Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-65549112158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-14118DiVA: diva2:329908
Note
QC 20100714Available from: 2010-07-14 Created: 2010-07-14 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Extraction of Metal Values: Thermodynamics of Electrolyte Solutions and Molten Salts Extraction Process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extraction of Metal Values: Thermodynamics of Electrolyte Solutions and Molten Salts Extraction Process
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the past centuries, a number of process routes for extraction of metal values from an ore or other resources have been developed. These can generally be classifiedinto pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical or electrometallurgical routes. In the caseof the latter two processes, the reaction medium consists of liquid phase electrolytesthat can be aqueous, non-aqueous as well as molten salts. The present dissertationpresents the work carried out with two aspects of the above-mentioned electrolytes.First part is about the electrolyte solutions, which can be used in solvent extractionrelevant to many hydrometallurgical or chemical engineering processes; the secondpart is about the molten salts, which is often used in the electrometallurgical processesfor production of a variety of many kinds of metals or alloys, especially those that arehighly reactive.In the first part of this thesis, the focus is given to the thermodynamics ofelectrolyte solutions. Since the non-ideality of high concentration solution is not wellsolved, a modified three-characteristic-parameter correlation model is proposed,which can calculate the thermodynamic properties of high concentration electrolytesolutions accurately. Model parameters for hundreds of systems are obtained foraqueous as well as non-aqueous solutions. Moreover, a new predictive method tocalculate the freezing point depression, boiling point elevation and vaporizationenthalpy of electrolyte solutions is also proposed. This method has been shown to be agood first approximation for the prediction of these properties.In the second part, a process towards the extraction of metal values from slags,low-grade ores and other oxidic materials such as spent refractories using molten saltsis presented. Firstly, this process is developed for the recovery of Cr, Fe values fromEAF slag as well as chromite ore by using NaCl-KCl salt mixtures in the laboratoryscale. The slags were allowed to react with molten salt mixtures. This extraction stepwas found to be very encouraging in the case of Cr and Fe present in the slags. Byelectrolysis of the molten salt phase, Fe-Cr alloy was found to be deposited on thecathode surface. The method is expected to be applicable even in the case of V, Mnand Mo in the waste slags.Secondly, this process was extended to the extraction of copper/iron from copperore including oxidic and sulfide ores under controlled oxygen partial pressures.Copper or Cu/Fe mixtures could be found on the cathode surface along with theemission of elemental sulphur that was condensed in the cooler regions of the reactor.Thus, the new process offers a potential environmentally friendly process routereducing SO2 emissions.Furthermore, the cyclic voltammetric studies of metal ions(Cr, Fe, Cu, Mg, Mn)in (CaCl2-)NaCl-KCl salt melt were performed to understand the mechanisms, such asthe deposition potential, electrode reactions and diffusion coefficients, etc. In addition,another method using a direct electro-deoxidation concept(FFC Cambridge method),was also investigated for the electrolysis of copper sulfide. Sintered solid porouspellets of copper sulfide Cu2S and Cu2S/FeS were electrolyzed to elemental Cu, S andCu, Fe, S respectively in molten CaCl2-NaCl at 800oC under the protection of Argongas. This direct electrolysis of the sulfide to copper with the emission of elementalsulfur also offers an attractive green process route for the treatment of copper ore.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. viii, 77 p.
Series
ISRN KTH/MSE, 2009 : 21
Keyword
Electrolyte solutions, activity coefficient, osmotic coefficient, freezing point depression, boiling point elevation
National Category
Materials Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10638 (URN)978-91-7415-346-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-06-12, Salongen KTHB, Osquars Backe 31, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100714Available from: 2009-06-09 Created: 2009-06-08 Last updated: 2010-07-15Bibliographically approved

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